Bullying Prevention

What does bullying prevention look like in APS?

APS is committed to ensuring all students learn and thrive in safe, healthy, and supportive environments. Each year, APS engages in bullying prevention efforts to educate and empower students to help create safe and supportive school communities. All students participate in lessons to strengthen their understanding and awareness of recognizing, refusing and reporting bullying behavior, the role of bystanders in bullying prevention, and strategies for building positive, respectful relationships.

Each October, in recognition of National Bullying Prevention month, all students participate in counseling lessons using age-appropriate language and examples to build and strengthen their ability to recognize, report and refuse bullying.

All schools also participate in Unity Day, this year on October 19, 2022, sponsored by the National Bullying Prevention Center. Staff and students are encouraged to wear orange “to show unity for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion, and to send a visible message that no child should ever experience bullying.”

What is Bullying?

APS Policy J-6.8.1 Student Safety – Bullying/Harassment Prevention defines bullying as:

  • aggressive and unwanted behavior that is intended to harm, intimidate, or humiliate
  • involving a power imbalance between the aggressor/aggressors and student
  • repeating infliction or attempting infliction of injury, discomfort, or humiliation
  • a pattern of aggressive, intentional or hostile behavior that occurs repeatedly and over time
  • cyberbullying, when occurring through the use of electronic means

If you are concerned that your student is being bullied, share your concerns with your student’s counselor or administrator to develop a plan to help your child feel safe at school.

Any student, parent/guardian, or school staff may initiate a complaint for themselves or another party by completing the Bully Harassment Incident Form.

The Policy Implementation Procedure J-6.8.1 PIP-1: Student Safety – Bullying-Harassment Prevention states that school administrators are responsible for investigating each incident submission. How can we help? Teach your student to speak out against bullying. If they observe an incident of bullying, they should inform an adult. Acting as an observer and reporting the facts of the situation is not “tattling” and it takes courage to do the right thing. Encourage your student to reach out to a student being bullied with kindness and help them talk to an adult.

Resources:

 

For information on Bullying Prevention, please contact your student’s school, or the Supervisor of Student Services (Counseling), Dr. Kristin Devaney, kristen.devaney@apsva.us or 703-228-6061.